Renowned Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, the creator of Pinyin writing system, died on January 14th, one day after his 111th birthday.
The Hinabook publishing house, which published several of Zhou's books in recent years, confirmed Zhou's death.
Born in Changzhou of East China's Jiangsu province on January 13 1906, Zhou was previously an economist working on Wall Street before becoming a linguist. In the 1950s, he chaired the committee which came up with Pinyin, a system to make it easier to transcribe Chinese characters using the western alphabet.
He said the speed of the popularization of Pinyin was amazing, used not only in education but also industry and commerce. It became a key to understanding Chinese culture, and has evolved into a bridge linking China to the whole world.
Zhou enjoyed watching English-language TV news. He noted that English news is often equipped with captions, making it easier to understand the main idea of every news item.